Iowa District Court Certifies La'James Class Action Lawsuit
In April of 2020, Wandro & Associates partnered with the National Student Legal Defense Network in bringing a class action lawsuit against La'James International College on behalf of La'James' Iowa students for engaging in deceptive consumer practices. The plaintiffs, now a formal class, are former and current students of La'James. These students required financial assistance to pay for their tuition and other expenses in order to attend La'James. They were awarded financial aid and were told by La'James that their financial aid distributions and associated credit balance payments would be provided according to a disbursement schedule. Their financial aid disbursements and credit balance payments were not made in accordance with that schedule, and in some instances, those disbursements and payments were never made. This caused a devastating ripple effect in these students' lives, forcing them to take on second or third jobs, losing their possessions, and incurring further debt.
La'James' financial aid practices have been investigated by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Iowa Attorney General. The Department of Education previously placed La'James on restrictive monitoring and found La'James to be out of compliance with financial aid regulations. The Iowa Attorney General also took action against La'James for its financial aid practices.
In January 2021, Wandro & Associates attorney Ben Arato argued on behalf of the aggrieved La'James students in an effort to certify the class action so that the lawsuit could proceed. On February 11, 2021, the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Iowa issued a ruling certifying the class and allowing the lawsuit to go forward. The court specifically found that the students' claims are
substantiated by actions taken by the Iowa Attorney General against La'James alleging violations of the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act. Further, the claims are bolstered by the consent judgment entered into by the Iowa Attorney General's Office with La'James and other defendants to settle claims that they had engaged in 'deceptive, omissive, and unfair practices in marketing, enrollment, and instruction.' And, La'James has violated that consent decree by continuing in the very same conduct prohibited by the decree.
Read the entire opinion here.
Now that the class has been formally certified, the lawsuit will proceed. Wandro & Associates and the National Student Legal Defense Network will continue to fight on behalf of these students in the courtroom.
To that end, we continue to seek aggrieved students to join in the class action lawsuit. These students must meet the following requirements to be included in the class:
The class is defined as all persons who were enrolled or remain enrolled at any Iowa campus of La'James and who were awarded financial aid and provided with a financial aid disbursement schedule, and whose financial aid disbursements were not made in accordance with that schedule, either due to a delay in disbursement by La'James, or their failure to disburse financial aid. The class is limited to students who have not received their final credit balance payment, who are still owed a balance that should have been paid to them, or who received their credit balance after a delay, after March 20, 2018.
If you are a current or former student of La'James who fits the above description, or if you know someone who fits that description, please contact Wandro & Associates at (515) 281-1475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work to get you the justice you deserve.